Atlanta, Georgia’s Monday Night Brewing has some whiskey bragging rights to go alongside their beer lineup. Namely, their own whiskey, thanks to their collaboration partner (and now neighbor on Atlanta’s West End), American Spirit Works.
This story starts more than 6 years ago with Monday Night co-founder Joel Iverson finding himself living next door to American Spirit co-founder Charlie Thompson. The brewery & distillery businesses were born literally next door to each other.
From a fermentation standpoint, brewing and distilling have a lot in common, so Monday Night’s brewing team and ASW’s distiller Justin Manglitz had a common starting point to begin this collaboration.
Monday Night Single Malt Whiskey lovingly referred to as “The Badger”, starts with a mash full of cherrywood smoked malt, the same used in their flagship Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale. The wort is then transferred 5 miles down the road using the highly scientific “renting a Penske truck” method, according to Iverson. ASW distilled the mash and transferred it to white oak quarter casks.
Fortunately, our patience has paid off. Like the mighty Scottish badger, this Scotch-style Whiskey has a pleasant bite and will burrow into your belly with a smooth, slightly sweet, and delightfully smoky finish.
Monday Night Single Malt Whiskey is 86 Proof, available once again in 750-milliliter bottles at ASW as of August 9th. Ounce tasters can be purchased at both of their Atlanta locations. Bottles will be available in Georgia package stores starting mid-August.
Image: Beer Street Journal
Creature Comforts Life in Flux debuts from the brewery’s Wood Cellar in June.
The Athens, Georgia based brewery has blended an imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels from 1Ams 17 to 25 months. These barrels represent the best barrels at that point in time.
Expect this beer to be an annual release, snapshotting the barrel program at that moment in time.
Creature Comforts Life In Flux will be available in 750-milliliter bottles at the brewery starting June 1st.
Image: Creature Comforts.
Creature Comforts Five Year Anniversary Ale will debut during the brewery’s anniversary party in April.
This strong ale is blended from various ales aged in whiskey barrels from the brewery’s cellar. Creature Comforts notes the average age of the blend is 23 months.
Creature Comforts Five Year Anniversary Ale can only be found in 750-milliliter bottles at the brewery on April 13th.
PIC: Creature Comforts
Everyone knows Pabst Blue Ribbon, aka PBR. The pop culture phenomenon was introduced in 1844 and is easily one of the most well-known beers in America. What’s next for Pabst? It looks like Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey.
A label surfaced this week for PBR Whiskey, an apparent collaboration with brewer/distiller New Holland Brewing, based in Michigan.
As you can see from the label above, the whiskey label draws from Pabst Blue Ribbon beer artwork, with the description “This is Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey. Made from nature’s choicest products that, legend has it, Jacob Best used in 1844 to provide its smooth, complex flavor.”
One more thing impossible to ignore – the label states “Aged 5 seconds”.
New Holland signed a partnership with Pabst in 2016 to expand their national distribution footprint. Sources within the brewery who do not want to be named have hinted to Beer Street Journal in the past that the partnership is rapidly expanding, but declined to provide more information.
The 80 proof whiskey is slated for 750-milliliter bottles.
Emails to Pabst Blue Ribbon were not returned.
This collaboration is a big one, perfect for a winter release. The two breweries created an imperial stout, aged in both whiskey barrels and brandy barrels, with figs and dates. After blending into the finishing tanks, Bamburana was then aged again on Amburana wood spirals. Amburna is a tropical tree native to Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru.
“We were pleasantly surprised with the vanilla and gingerbread spice nuances this South American wood contributed into the finished beer and look forward to putting this delicious beer in front of folks,” said Wayne Wambles of Cigar City Brewing
Oskar Blues Cigar City Bamburana is a national release in 12-ounce cans and draft starting in mid-January, 2019.
Debut: Mid-January 2019
In the world of imperial stouts filled with various dessert-like additions, Epic Quadruple Barrel Big Bad Baptist stands alone. This big bottle of ridiculous is how you make a decadent pastry stout.
Big Bad Baptist was supposed to be released under another name – Jack Mormon Imperial Stout, back in 2011. Epic Brewing made a barrel-aged imperial stout brewed with Jack Mormon roasters coffee. Unfortunately, the state of Utah rejected the “Mormon” name, even though it was a homage to their coffee roaster.
Brewery co-founder Dave Cole is a California Baptist and decided to integrate his real-life “Big Bad Baptist” roots into the name.
In that first year, Big Bad Baptist scored a 100 on RateBeer.com, and still maintains that high mark today.
Since the launch, variants of this coveted imperial stout have been released, including a Double Barrel, Triple Barrel, and Big Bad Baptista Imperial Stout. Each one takes a creative step forward. Now there’s Epic Quadruple Barrel Baptist and it really is the best Baptist we’ve ever had.
The brewers at Epic racked their imperial stout to both whiskey and rum barrels. Meanwhile, the team barrel-aged their own coffee beans, coconuts, and almonds. Basically, the only thing that’s not barrel-aged is the cocoa nibs. You might read all that and think, there’s just too much going on here.
You’re not wrong. There are some imperial stouts out there that are packed with chocolate, vanilla, strawberries, lactose, even cookies, and cereal. Some taste great. Some of these coveted imperial stouts are just muddled in flavor. That’s how Epic got this beer right. Scroll up and read everything the brewery put in the beer. Now read the next paragraph.
Every flavor is present in every sip. Your first taste starts with this rich, chocolaty imperial stout which gives way to a balance of subtle almond, coffee, and coconuts that finishes with a mix of vanilla oak and toasted rum sugar. That’s what blew us away. All these flavors are very much there in a beautiful balance, from start to finish. To us, that’s the crossroad of imagination and brewing talent. Epic didn’t just throw all the buzz-worthy additions to a barrel-aged imperial stout and expect a line outside. This is a symphony of barrel blending, and we were some morose tipsy folks when the bottle ran dry.
Epic Quadruple Barrel Big Bad Baptist is available in 22-ounce bottles – an extremely limited release hitting distribution now.
Hops: Nugget, Chinook, Cascade.
Malts: Muntons Maris Otter Malt, Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt, Crystal Muntons, Weyermann Light Munich Malt I, 2-Row Chocolate Malt 2-Row Black Malt, Roasted Barley.
Availability: 22oz Bottles. Extremely Limited Release.
Debut: Late Oct/Nov 2018
Every beer collaboration is born out of friendship and mutual respect for one another’s brewing passions. In this case, the fermented love spans 2,000 miles. Introducing Firestone Walker / Creature Comforts Mother’s Milk.
The base beer is a milk stout that has been aging for nearly a year in rye whiskey barrels – a very intentional move. According to Eric Ponce, Firestone Walker’s barrel program manager, the sweetness of bourbon barrels would have been too cloying. “We designed the base beer with the intent of aging it in rye whiskey barrels—we thought it would be the perfect marriage. The dash of salt just makes everything pop on the palate,” he explains in a recent press release.
Mother’s Milk will be available to all attendees of this weekend’s Firestone Walker Invitational. 12-ounce bottles will be available at the brewery on June 2nd.
Availability: 12oz Bottles. Limited Release
Image: Firestone Walker